Tupelo Press Announces the 2015 Berkshire Prize Winner and Finalists

Tupelo Press is delighted to announce that our judge Carol Frost has selected Patrick Coleman of Ramona, California from an extraordinary field of finalists as winner of the 2015 Berkshire Prize for his manuscript, Fire Season.

The winner receives a $3,000 cash prize, publication by Tupelo Press, and national distribution.

Patrick Coleman earned a BA from the University of California, Irvine, where he studied with Jim McMichael and Michelle Latiolais, and later received an MFA from Indiana University. His short stories and prose poems have appeared recently in Hobart, Black Warrior Review, ZYZZYVA, and the Utne Reader. Currently, he’s writing and editing an exhibition catalogue on the relationship between visual arts and music, forthcoming from Yale University Press, all the while finding himself “neck-deep in a fourth draft of a novel.”

About Fire Season, Carol Frost writes:

The poems in Fire Season are full of friction—common word touching common word making that friction. They are also philosophical and personal. Patrick Coleman is tuned in to landscape, language, and humanity, each poem casual as office talk and heightened by their proximity to art and by the force of the sentence—such arresting sentences.


Idris Anderson of San Carlos, California for Root of the Matter
Joseph Chapman of Ann Arbor, Michigan for Rhetorical Kingdom
Todd Fredson of Venice, California for Century Worm
Adam Giannelli of Shaker Heights, Ohio for Tremulous Hinge
Aaron Graham of Atlanta, Georgia for Blood Stripes
Leslie Harrison of Baltimore, Maryland for Triptych
Gabriel Jesiolowski of Seattle, Washington for As Burning Leaves
Robert Lipton of Pt. Richmond, California for Like Wire for Mother
Shivani Mehta of Calabasis, California for The Rapture of Mannequins
Erin Mullikin of Syracuse, New York for Impossible Animal
Sarah Murphy of Jacksonville, Florida for Semaphore
Natania Rosenfeld of Chicago, Illinois for Orfeo in the Snow
Catherine Theis of Santa Monica, California for Sophia
Alpay Ulku of Muratpaşa-Antalya, Turkey for The Stiller of Atoms
Sharon Wang of Ridgewood, New York for Republic of Mercy

Sincere congratulations to Patrick Coleman, to our superb cast of finalists, and special thanks to all who entered this competition and who, by your writing, join in the tireless, solitary, and so-important work of making poetry. Many, many thanks to Carol Frost for taking on the nearly impossible challenge of naming the winner.